Movement 1: Allegro
Movement 2: Adagio
Movement 3: Allegro non troppo
The second movement, Adagio, owes more than a little to Chopin, especially in the first theme which is given unaccompanied to the piano after a short introduction from the strings of the orchestra. However, as the movement develops, so Scharwenka finds his own identity, and after building several climaxes closes with an air of tranquillity, leaving us perfectly poised for the finale. Scharwenka’s Polish origins are echoed in the main subject of the third movement, Allegro non troppo, which is distinctly Eastern European, perhaps also with a slightly Yiddish colouring, although there is no evidence to suggest that Scharwenka had any Jewish family connections. The movement basically follows a rondo format, with the coda reintroducing material from the first movement, bringing the concerto to a brilliant conclusion in the affirmative key of C major.
from notes by Martin Eastick © 2003